Kopp, Johnston find no favor with South Anchorage base - Must Read Alaska
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Kopp, Johnston find no favor with South Anchorage base

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In South Anchorage, Reps. Chuck Kopp and Jennifer Johnston, each polished and experienced lawmakers and campaigners, were soundly trounced in Tuesday’s primaries by challengers from the right.

The voting patterns in their districts — 24 and 28 — were almost identical on Primary Election Day.

The two Republicans got in trouble with their bases after they organized a Democrat-Republican caucus that put Democrats in charge of key committees, and installed a Democrat speaker, all of which made Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s agenda fall flat, even though the House was clearly dominated by Republicans.

Kopp became Rules chair in that House organization, and Johnston became vice chair of Finance, eventually ascending to co-chair.

Kopp, the District 24’s Republican incumbent, only received 601 votes on Tuesday.

In 2018, Kopp won 1,535 of the primary ballots, compared with challenger Stephen Duplantis’ 642 votes.

This year it was flipped, with challenger Tom McKay bringing in twice the votes that Kopp received — 1,202.

Johnston, District 28’s Republican incumbent, received just 600 votes in the Republican primary. Newcomer James Kaufman won decisively with 1,625.

Two years ago, Johnston won the primary with 1,637 votes.

Both incumbents are solid campaigners and both are likable, have excellent communication skills, and have the benefit of professional staff who take personal leave to work on their campaigns with them.

But it wasn’t enough for South Anchorage, which turned a lot more “red” on Tuesday. Both seats are considered safe Republican for the General Election.

The numbers on these races and others in Alaska will change as absentee ballots are counted beginning Aug. 25. But they won’t be enough to pull either of these public officials to victory.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I am riding this RED WAVE with a glass of champagne in my hand! So GLAD we voted in person, yesterday. It is about time that the tables turn in the Alaskan legislature. Dear democrats and “Rinos” – coddling the riots / removal of statues, defunding police, lying, stealing money for your pet projects, etc., will be your demise. Cheers~!

    • Hear hear!

  • Apparently my patience with these and others was common – none. I could not vote for or against any of them. My fear was that there districts might let them slide… I am pleasantly pleased as a conservative, I am not a republican. The two rep’s, one north and one south, were an infection that they should have worked harder or compromised with to have a somewhat conservative agenda…but these two and the lady. senate president, are paying the price….especially in their area’s.

  • Thanks for the break down and comments but I think you need to lay part of the defeat on the Mayor and the assembly who have worked tirelessly to cause anger with anyone connected to our political system….the folks are angry and I hope that does not go away right through the November election.

  • It was great to be able to watch you Live on election night from San Diego. Great job as always!

  • Congratulations to the winners but even more important, kudus go to the voters who showed their displeasure for RINOs.

  • Perhaps Johnston lost because cover bedside manner with Bryce Edgmon. Qasn’t she the one that said we couldn’t handle 2 pfds, and then Bryce had to make nice for her? Good riddance to a bad apple, I say.

  • Thus is a harbinger for all Conservative Republicans, especially the silent majority who come out to vote when pissed. Joe Biden beware!

  • Way to go Alaskans let’s take our state back

  • During the 2017 Special Session to fix the worst problems with SB 91, Representative Kopp made some of the most nonsensical arguments regarding criminal law and procedure that I have ever heard. I guess he figured that as a former police officer, he could say just about anything and get away with it. (Hint: Lots of other people are involved with the system and know gaslighting when they hear it.) He might have succeeded then but he sure failed last night. He needs to try a different line of work.

  • Amen!

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